Ancient VVisdom – Sacrificial (2014) Album Review



Artist Ancient VVisdom Album Sacrificial Release Date: 28 October 2014
Label Magic Bullet Records Genre Occult Metal | Death Rock | Doom Metal

I’ll admit it; I’m a newcomer to Ancient VVisdom, thinking that the band’s latest release, Sacrificial, was a 2015 release and not something nearly a year old. On top of that, I thought that it might be their debut, but sure, given the accomplished level of the song structures, that it must at least be at least their sophomore effort.

Order Sacrificial here.

To my surprise, it turns out Sacrificial is their third full-length and it was released in October 2014! Nonetheless, it’s new to me, and considering Ancient VVisdom has just under 6,000 followers on Facebook, they might be new to you as well. If you’ve never heard of them, this is a band you want on your radar!

First things first, this is occult- and pagan-inspired heavy metal, so if you’re not into Satanic lyrics or words of self-empowerment, then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. As vocalist/lyricist Nathan Opposition states:

Where there is chaos you will find us. Where there is disorder, others find discomfort yet I find salvation. Lead me not unto anything. I am my own. This album will enlighten the fools and give the enlightened something to listen to.

Now, onto the album of enlightened darkness.

As a whole, or in parts, Sacrificial is an amazing album, one that somehow avoids the typical practices of the doom metal/occult metal genre. Yes, it’s very much akin to Ghost BC, Dead Quiet, and the like, but it has an uncanny post-pop vibe to it that’s more somber than upbeat. Still, the post-pop, by which I mean the clear and harmonized vocals, and the accessibility of the “softer” music is the beauty of Ancient VVisdom, if their intent is to spread an evil word or two.

Really, why would an occultist, satanic band risk being banned or having limited distribution because of overtly evil sound effects/samples, and by bashing the listener over the head with their message? This subtle and calm approach is much more likely to pass by the censorship ears of parents and right-winged religious groups than anything that’s in-your-face and shocking.

Sacrificial opens with an instrumental intro, “Rise of an Ancient Evil,” which just sounds awesome and serves as an incantation of sorts, or a hymn to welcome you to the gospel that follows. Now, an astute listener might hear some Metallica influence in the acoustic guitar at the very top, but like elsewhere on the album, the inspiration quickly changes and becomes purely Ancient VVisdom.

The first track could have been mixed into the the album’s second track, “Chaos Will Reign,” to create greater continuity. However, “Chaos Will Reign” is still one of the album’s strongest tracks, encompassing everything that’s on offer here. Down-tuned chugging guitars reign supreme here and are perfectly complemented by Opposition’s hypnotizing vocals.

The fourth track, “The Devil’s Work,” is another strong track, and possibly my favorite. Yeah, there’s a part of me that likes the shock of the song’s title and thus the chorus, especially with its perfect delivery, but the track is a rocker without blowing a wad. You might notice a Foo Fighters style at the top, and that vibe can be heard throughout the song, although it’s not as obtuse as in the intro.

“Blind Leading the Blind” is another strong track with lots of variety, but never veering too far from the core sound of Ancient VVisdom. It might be me, but the acoustic intro sounds exactly like Johnny Cash’s cover of NIN’s “Hurt.”

Let’s continue with the “sounds like” angle, because despite how much I adore this album, it’s something that plagues my mind. The bass guitar on the intro to “Sacrifice” sounds awfully similar to Megadeth’s “Dawn Patrol.” It’s almost identical, actually, but Dave Ellefson plays a few more notes in the basic melody. However, the rest of “Sacrifice” is fantastic with amazing resonance and a slow death march rhythm that’s to die for. I’m sure Ancient VVisdom wouldn’t have it any other way.

Along with “Devil’s Work,” my two other favorite tracks on Sacrificial are “Worm Ridden Skull” and “City of Stone.” On both tracks, which are vastly different, I love the fuzzed guitar delivery, the lyrical content, and, as with just about every other track on the album, Opposition’s vocals. The dude has a knack for creating catchy, sobering choruses.

The Verdict:

If it weren’t for the heavy leanings on their influences, Sacrificial would be a masterpiece. Just the same, this album delivers where it counts and warrants repeated listening. If you don’t have a softer, occult-themed album in your collection, you’ve got a gap and Sacrificial is a perfect inclusion to round out your repertoire.

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